News By The People, For The People

| June 5, 2002 Issue

W ith more than 500,000 Weblogs -- or "blogs" -- strewn over the Internet, journalists like Paul Andrews are wondering if they may become obsolete.

Writing in the University of Southern California's Online Journalism Review, Andrews, an occasional blogger himself, points to the increasing readership of blogs and the decreasing subscriptions to print publications.

In contrast to traditional print media, Weblogs are instantaneously updated with text, photos and videos. Blogs often encourage readers to participate in the news by commenting on the piece or rating it.

"[Many bloggers] are self-made publishers who create more than content," Andrews writes."[Bloggers are] building interactive communities that 'meet' online to share their thoughts on the news, often writing polished commentary and connect-the-dot essays that pull together news on a topic from various sources." This level of interaction with readers, he adds, just isn't possible in print.

Even though Weblogs do not have the necessary infrastructure to report on international events and must rely on traditional news outlets for their core information, Andrews writes, they are "becoming an important check and balance to an industry that previously had very little oversight."
--Sara V. Buckwitz
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